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Thursday, October 25, 2012


Trying to understand the logic

One of the recurring themes that the class has dealt with is the idea of subjugation, the unjust use of superior power to coerce or oppress, and how a bad government is guilty of this while a good government allows private property rights and enough freedom to use them to accumulate physical capital and wealth.  That idea is, indeed, a major driver for the book The Rise and Decline of Nations, which addresses how liberty-loving countries start vibrant and energized, and, over time, accumulate social organizations that slow their economies; hopefully not to the extreme of subjugation!

Subjugation is the starting point of the revolutions that can bring about a new liberty-loving nation.  Examples that should be well known include the American and French Revolutions.  Less well known is the example of Bacon’s Rebellion, where a Virginian colonial named Nathaniel Bacon, as a side effect of wanting to fight the natives, wound up at odds with the Crown’s governor and had to fight the British army.  A subjugator fighting a subjugator, a cynic might say.

According to an AP article from the Washington Post, called Guinea-Bissau government says coup plotter came from Portugal, a failed coup in the African nation that was formerly a Portuguese colony was headed by a Portuguese.  The country has apparently had so many coups since achieving independence that it remains poor.  The logic that The Rise and Decline of Economic Growth suggests would indicate that, if they can achieve stability, they will then grow capital and achieve wealth simply because there will be a time where there is no social drag.  If there is a good government that does not subjugate.

Yes, and after learning in Power & Prosperity about roving and stationary bandits, you can add a bit more to this point.
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